Gilas Pilipinas Women point guard Ella Fajardo announced on Monday her commitment to NCAA Division 1 school Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in New Jersey.
Fajardo said that she chose FDU because the university presented options that would satisfy her academic and athletic needs.
"It has been my dream to get a quality college education and be able to play at the Division 1 level! My story has not been easy and I am working hard everyday to prove myself over and over and to earn every victory and success that comes my way," the Fil-Am said in an Instagram post.
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big things come in small packages. I'm beyond excited to announce that I have committed to FDU to further continue my academic and basketball career! We did it mom; we did it dad; we did it Ava and Andi; we did it Poppy and Granny. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my basketball journey, I could not have done it without you. And last but most importantly, thank you God for making my dreams to play in the collegiate level, true! Once a Knight, always a Knight! ❤️💙 #heartoverheight "Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to you the honor and glory and praise." (Psalm 115:1) Special thanks to @j_artssss for making this for me, you're awesome 😊❤️
Standing at 5'4, Fajardo was an integral cog for the Gill St. Bernard Knights, dropping averages of 13.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.4 steals scattered across 26 games. The team sported a 15-11 record.
Fajardo was also a part of the Gilas Pilipinas team that copped bronze in the 2019 FIBA 3x3 U-18 Asia Cup. Along with Camille Clarin, Karl Ann Pingol, and Angelica Surada, the quartet made it all the way to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Her mentor in the Philippines, Patrick Aquino, was elated with the news.
"It's a great opportunity for her playing in a Division 1 school, and a good academic and basketball program. Saddened as she is not going to N.U., but she assures me that she is still committed to the national team program," Aquino told ESPN5.com.
"I'm proud of her for getting the scholarship. She deserves it and will give the national team more experience in the future," he added.